Only a handful of people have ever seen the existing film, one of whom was Harry Shearer. Shearer basically confirmed every film geek's wildest dreams when he said:
"With most of these kinds of things, you find that the anticipation, or the concept, is better than the thing itself. But seeing this film was really awe-inspiring, in that you are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object. This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is. 'Oh My God!' – that's all you can say."
Lewis owns all the right to the movie, and he will never release it. For years he would get enraged if people would even bring it up, refusing to discuss the topic. Recently, however, he was asked about it at a press conference, and he actually commented. "No one will ever see it because I'm embarassed by the poor work. It was bad." was his reply.
So here we sit, 40 odd years later, still having never seen the film. Could that change? It was recently disclosed that the Library of Congress has acquired Jerry Lewis' film archives INCLUDING THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED. The catch? It cannot be screened for ten years. All this means for us movie geeks is that we have to hang in there for a decade and then we can (hopefully) see this movie. DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'!